HC Deb 08 May 1952 vol 500 cc537-8
26. Mr. W. A. Burke

asked the Secretary for Overseas Trade, as representing the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, if he will consider using the £4 million Government owned magnesium electron factory at Lowerhouse near Burnley, for the setting up of new industries in order to relieve unemployment in that area.

Mr. H. Strauss

The possibility of using this factory for other purposes has frequently been examined. According to present estimates it would be needed to produce magnesium in time of war. The plant there is of a specialised nature, and the factory could not be put to other uses without rendering it less capable of producing magnesium. Should circumstances change the question will be gone into again.

Mr. Burke

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the factory was not used for manufacturing magnesium during the later stages of the war? Why should this factory, which is conveniently situated, stand idle, with idle hands round about, while the Government use scarce labour and materials to build a factory for finishing jet planes in the Midlands where there is virtually no unemployment?

Mr. Strauss

The answer to that supplementary question was given in my original reply and in my hon. Friend's answers to Questions by the hon. Member on 20th March.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Burke.

Mr. S. Silverman

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Since there is a little confusion in the answer as between a quite different answer to almost the same Question by the Minister of Labour yesterday, would it be in order to ask a supplementary question to clear it up, the factory being in my constituency?

Mr. Speaker

I have passed on to the next Question.